Vera’s experts conduct research and analysis and develop policies and programs in a variety of criminal and social justice fields. Their varied knowledge, background, and experience enable Vera to address the full spectrum of national and local justice issues.
Research Director, Center on Immigration and Justice
Laura joined Vera’s Center on Immigration and Justice in 2011. At Vera, her research has focused on improving bias crime and human trafficking victim identification, the needs of unaccompanied migrant youth, and evaluating legal information programs serving immigrant children and adults. From 2000 to 2010, she was a research scientist at one of Canada’s largest research and teaching hospitals, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. She was also appointed Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Laura has specialized in community-based, policy-oriented, mixed-methods research with service providers, government agencies and many refugee and immigrant communities, and has conducted 30 studies, 19 as principal investigator. Her primary research interests are forced migration, victimization, resilience, and social support. Laura has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, research reports, policy briefs, and public and professional educational materials for a variety of audiences. In 2014, she published a co-edited book, Refuge and Resilience: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health among Resettled Refugees and Forced Migrants(Springer). Laura holds a BA from Indiana University and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University.